I just finished reading a fascinating book (No Filter by Sarah Frier) about the history of Instagram, and it motivated me to start posting to my Instagram account.
I had made a post to Instagram several years ago, but then I somehow lost my account info since I never used it, so I had to create a new one, which you can find at @jimquincy
As I pondered what to post, the following excerpt from the book stuck with me:
Influencers explain that Instagram provides them with immediate feedback about what people like, from all the measurable reactions – and the results aren’t that surprising. Selfies perform better than photos of landscapes. Showing more skin performs better than covering up. A cohesive purpose for an account performs better than randomness. Pops of color perform better than monotone. Beauty performs better than not. Doing something visually extreme performs better. Users tweak their strategies based on the numbers, until they arrive at repeatable good results. And those good results encourage a manifestation of airbrushed selfies, crazy action shots, and scantily clad influencers.
In other words, the exact opposite of what I would ever consider doing Nobody wants to see more of my skin, and I’ve got a couple strikes against me with the beauty thing and the cohesive purpose thing.
But I still felt I needed to be, and wanted to be, part of the Instagram community. Perhaps it was because of this little fact I learned from the book:
Kim Kardashian-West has 157 million followers, and makes about $1 million for a single post. That’s right. She makes more from one Instagram post than I do from teaching for several years.
So I thought “how can I get an audience like that?”, and I knew it wouldn’t be from focusing on me.
I turned to what I know best – accounting.
I often tell my students how beautiful a balance sheet is. They learn to go through all the work of recording journal entries, posting those entries to the appropriate accounts, preparing trial balances, and then finally, the financial statements.
And somehow, magically, the balance sheet balances (well, at least it is supposed to…).
And that’s when I decided that I would share the beauty of balance sheets with the world of Instagram. I have no idea if somebody else is already doing this; I’m not sure how I would search through more than one billion accounts to find out.
And if you know me, it’s probably no surprise that I would start with the balance sheet of my favorite company – Apple.
Here is their most recent balance sheet:
Notice how beautifully it is formatted, with the labels and the dollar mounts in neatly arranged columns. Notice how they kept that minimalist look, by expressing all the numbers in millions thus avoiding having to display six more numbers for each line item.
Look at all the cash Apple, and how the total current assets easily exceed the total current liabilities. Look at the amount of leverage they have. And perhaps the most beautiful thing of all – notice how total assets equals total liabilities and shareholders’ equity.
So feel free to check me out on Instagram at @jimquincy and explore the beautiful world of financial statements…
P.S. If any company wants me to highlight their financial statements, I will happily do so for $1 million per post…
P.P.S. Don’t even get me started on the beauty of the Statement of Cash Flows…
*I don’t even know if gramming is the right word to use to describe posting to Instagram, but I like the sound of it…